Shortage of supply leads to higher salaries for cybersecurity professionals

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NEW DELHI : While demand for cybersecurity experts is on the rise due to growing cyber threats and security vulnerabilities, India is facing a massive talent shortage, leading to a 40% increase in salaries.

The digital business transformation journey driven by covid has been further accentuated following the impending rollout of 5G services.

The average salary of a cybersecurity analyst has increased by 37-40% in India compared to August last year, said Siva Prasad N., chief commercial officer of recruitment services firm Teamlease Digital. “An entry-level cybersecurity analyst with at least four years of experience is 7.5 lakh per year right now. A senior analyst, with a decade of experience, earns around 22 lakh, on average,” he added.

Cybersecurity analysts offer consulting services to a company based on vulnerability reports from around the world. Unlike security researchers, who find flaws in programs and often fix them, analysts are considered to play an entry-level role.

The rise in average wages is part of an effort to close the gap between supply and demand, experts said. Data from the Quess Corp recruitment platform showed that the number of jobs has increased by 113% over the past year, particularly in the banking, financial services and insurance sector, which has seen its displays multiplied by 4.8.

Despite the industry’s best efforts, security professionals are unwilling to join Indian companies due to unfavorable working conditions and lower salaries. Skilled hackers usually build their own wallets and earn a lot from freelance work.

For example, Dhiraj Mishra, a security researcher, took a full-time job as a security analyst at an investment bank in the United Arab Emirates two years ago. At the same time, he pursues independent projects. “It helps me maintain a balance between the corporate role and my independent security profession,” he said.

The co-founder of a security company, seeking anonymity, said the one-time payment from a bug bounty program can be significantly higher than the annual salary of a 9-to-5 job. like Apple and Microsoft pay hackers millions for reporting flaws in their software, and India’s ethical hackers have topped the charts for years.

VPN service company AtlasVPN, for example, said Indian hackers captured more than 35 crores between May 2019 and April 2020. Last year, security researcher Aman Pandey was one of the top researchers in Google’s Vulnerability Reward Program, which is the bug bounty program run by the search giant.

The person said his company had 90 vacancies that went unfilled in the past four months, despite earning much higher salaries. Prasad said more than 70,000 cybersecurity jobs are vacant in India. Other professionals, according to industry leaders, are not qualified enough.

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